Today I didn't just step out of my comfort zone. I dove head first into the deep end.
I really, really like disc golf. I really like watching pro disc golf. So it only makes sense that I would go to tournament to watch disc golf and really enjoy it right? Well, not as easily as I would hope.
It was an all male tournament. All guys. Everyone playing and spectating. I was not expecting that. I was hoping to see at least one other woman on the sidelines, but that didn't happen until the 2nd round was over.
I was so intimidated. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. And I was on my own.
I literally hiked up into the woods, stood by a tree, and hid for fifteen minutes.
Finally, the tee time for the 2nd round came around and I decided to search for the lead card of players. I passed one card teeing off, hiked up the hill, and then promptly ran back down when I asked a passerby where the first card was and was pointed just back to where I'd come.
I followed them through the second hole and wasn't even noticed until tee pad 3 when they had to wait for the group before them to finish the hole. One of the players (not mentioning names here for location privacy) laughingly said, "Where you come from?"
All eyes locked on me.
A bit flustered, I said something I can't remember, and then he proceeded to compliment me on my quietness—something greatly appreciated in spectators among disc golfers. Then they proceeded to play as normal.
I was still really uncomfortable. Most of the entire time I followed their card, I felt like I had invaded guy time.
There was one other spectator though: an older gentlemen who took up conversation with me. I so greatly appreciate that he did so. Talking with him, I felt less like an intruder. He's the father of one of the players on the card, and it was obvious he knows the Lord. He kind of looked out for me, often motioning me to sit down on the benches at each tee.
His son was pleasent as well. At the tee of the last hole during a tournament, it's tradition to fist bump before teeing off, instead of shaking hands or similar after the hole is completed. The son fist bumped the other players, and then he fist bumped me and his father, and thanked me for following the card. I was caught off guard, so I only smiled back without saying anything, but I really, really appreciated the gesture.
At the end of it all, I officially met two of the other players on the card because they introduced themselves. The top player of the tournament welcomed me to come back tomorrow, and thanked me for spectating.
Looking back, I can see how the players were deep in the game when I joined the card. They were so focused on playing, there's no attention left to even acknowledge a spectator exists. So tomorrow, I hope to arrive early before the final round and say hello before they tee off. Perhaps it won't be as uncomfortable.
Stepping out of my comfortable zone was worth it. I was having a really hard time at first, but God was gracious and gave me a really good day. I'm thankful.
First tournament attendance done, so I'm off to do school now. I have two things due tomorrow, and I really want to get them done before heading out to the final round.